Summer 2016 – First Impressions (Part 2)

It’s either I am good with avoiding bad shows, or this season promises something beyond watchable.

I cannot help but put a grin in my face after watching these series. We got a bunch of (seriously) good shorts, heartwarming ones and Tales of Zestiria the X – and I still think these are leaps better than Spring 2016’s premiere. Let’s start

Honobono Log and Momokuri both told stories of how love goes as far as couples are concerned. The former is an ultra-short but it doesn’t mean I didn’t get the whole picture in under two minutes. Is it sweet? Not that much, but I remember warm fuzzy feeling in my chest whenever my real life girl bugs me to go somewhere while I am still busy watching these anime series. Yet… I still gave in to her demands and leave the house anyway.  I quite like the artwork (reminds me of the great The Tatami Galaxy) and the realistic dialogue between two characters. Honobono Log may not match the poignancy of Tabi Machi Late Show but these small gestures are more than enough for me to like this in an instant.

Samui died in a moment because the show is too sweet for his taste.

Then Momokuri left me wanting for insulin because it is darn too sweet! Well, not the innocent kind of sweet because Kuri’s subconscious leaks too much about wanting Momo to kiss her. It is a show where our stupid first love blooms and how we desperately try to connect with each other beyond our physical looks. Ahh! Scratch that serious sounding line. Momokuri is just a short about a yandere sans the murder spree and the paranoia and a boy, then they go too doki doki with each other. My heart cannot take this much! On a more serious note, I just do not know if Momokuri glorifies the shoujo demographic or gives a good parody of it because this makes me laugh. Just a bit of nitpick, these characters look like they are in grade school or something. Ugh.

Lastly, we got Fudanshi Koukou no Seikatsu that was thankfully reduced into shorts because I do not know if it will work as a full series. I read the first chapter of the manga anyway so it is composed of skits, rather than continuous flow of events. Look, I am certainly biased here because THAT is an anime made about us (rotten boys, teehee) so I got a few giggles here and there during its 3-minute run. The artwork is also much better than the promotional image and is closer on how it looks compared with the source material. Sure, it feels like a parody than anything else but I cannot be bored with this.

This is another case of style over substance. This looks good but why am I yawning?

Now that we are done with shorts, let us proceed with full-length series. The prologue of Tales of Zestiria the X is the most visually stunning so far in Summer 2016 but I almost fell asleep skimming through the episode. This got the same problem with Rewrite in a way that newcomers will find it really hard to appreciate what’s going on unless you have a background knowledge about the series. Sure, the fight scene looks really great akin to Unlimited Blade Works but it kind of forgot to tell us why we’re supposed to care about the princess or the events unfolding in their timeline. A mist? Yeah, it felt menacing but I was not able to get myself into its ambiance though. Well, it is not a complete dud though. In a way, this feels much, much better than the stiff God Eater last year and it injects more life through the screen. We got some awesome fights with some seriously good choreography but do not ask me why they are fighting. I am just here to enjoy the visual prowess of ufotable.

mononokean2b0101
Here I am thinking I will get another fujoshi-bait show.

Then the quality goes uphill from Tales of Zestiria X. The Morose Mononokean injects old school comedy akin to Kamisama Hajimemashita minus the romance (although the fudanshi in me ships Abeno X Ashiya real hard. LOL) and humanizes yokais to an extent we got a poignant ending to this premiere episode. Yes, Mononokean is another example of a work that is much better in anime format. It was able to successfully mingle potent comedy (Ashiya’s mother translating her thought with flowers or that fluffy yokai) and some heartstrings related to these Japanese ghosts. Seriously, Grimgar already humanized goblins, Mushishi gave us a deeper understanding about mushis and this? They’re trying to give backstories to these ghosts! The attractive albeit nondescript character design aside, nothing is new with this show. The music feels generic, the dialogue gives me a feel we had seen this before and the characters themselves are well, tropes. Yet its merits qualified Morose Mononokean as a competent series I intend to follow this season.

Someone ban this cute creature from appearing in the screen. She makes this show sad and heartwarming at the same time! Darn it.

Lastly, the promotional art of Amaama to Inazuma turned me off because I thought that was about a creepy teacher and his student. Yet watching this episode gave me a reminiscent of Bunny Drop (the anime version), Barakamon and a tamer Shokugeki no Souma. God, it pushed all the right buttons for me as far as melancholic slice of life shows are concerned. You know what? If the law permits, child voice actors should voice young anime leads because it felt more realistic to hear. In a way, this also capitalizes the trope ‘food brings us to some close memories we had’ so much for my heartbreak and its success. Man, I nearly teared up when the sensei was reminded that his deceased wife kept on telling him she put her heart in every food she cooked. I felt sadness when his daughter was longing for a good meal because they’ve been eating nothing but precooked meals in a while. Yeah, that sounds hollow but I was taken aback by her gestures (well, how big is delicious anyway). Well, I expect this will follow the route of Flying Witch in a way that it does not have any form of bawdy fanservice for I think it strives to capture our hearts. Yes, we got another gem in the works here folks. Let us pray Amaama to Inazuma will not falter that much during its run.

The last part of my impressions will be published on Saturday which covers Mob Psycho 100, Battery, 91 Days, the second cour of Kuromukuro and Dangan Ronpa. My initial ranking for Summer 2016 series will be published on Sunday yet I think everyone who reads my blog knows orange is a tough show to beat. Man, this season is going to be a blast!

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